Feb 27, 2017

Chao to Silicon Valley: Prove the benefits of self-driving cars

Steve Fecht / General Motors

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is reviewing the Obama administration's guidance for self-driving vehicles and plans to "update it and amend it, to ensure that it strikes the right balance."

I want to challenge Silicon Valley, Detroit, and all other auto industry hubs to step up and help educate a skeptical public about the benefits of automated technology. ā€” Elaine Chao

Chao was speaking to the National Governors Association yesterday, as reported by Reuters. In September, the Obama administration called on automakers to voluntarily submit a 15-point safety assessment on self-driving systems.

Why it matters: Her remarks signal general support for self-driving cars, particularly in their ability to improve safety as 94% of traffic crashes are due to human error.

Still, hurdles remain: She's concerned about the impact of self-driving cars on employment, starting with the 3.5 million truck drivers whose jobs are likely to change as the technology takes hold.

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